As always, all images copyright DeepFriedKudzu unless otherwise noted.
There’s tumult at Beauvoir over…the battle flag, and Jeff Davis’ great-great grandson (who was executive director there) has resigned along with the volunteer who organized the ‘Christmas at Beauvoir’ events. More here.
Meanwhile, I think there is an error in Michael Feinstein’s otherwise excellent article in The New Yorker last week on Stephen Foster’s music: Can’t Escape Stephen Foster as I believe this date below in reference to the Stars and Bars (altogether different from the flag mentioned above) should be 1861 rather than March 4, 1864:
“Beautiful Dreamer,” Stephen Foster’s last song, was published posthumously a hundred and fifty years ago this month. On March 4, 1864, the Confederacy adopted the Stars and Bars as its official flag, and Sherman began planning his March to the Sea.
above: the Nicola Marschall monument in Marion, Alabama
The Stars and Bars was the first CSA flag, designed by Nicola Marschall in Marion, Alabama. Turns out, it was so close to design to the US flag (which was actually by design), that on the battlefield it caused confusion, thus, other flag designs were approved.
Further in the article, the man we knew for “Old Folks at Home” (1851); “My Old Kentucky Home” (1853); “Oh, Susanna” (1846) and others:
Foster never saw Kentucky or the Suwannee River or Alabama, and had been south of the Mason-Dixon Line only once, for his honeymoon, on a steamboat trip down the Mississippi to New Orleans. Which is to say that Southern nostalgia was, in part, invented by a Yankee who spent almost no time in the South, long before the South was even something to be nostalgic about. Alabama and Florida were still very young states; slavery and plantations had replaced Native American territories only about forty years before the Civil War.
Time Magazine on Nashville hot chicken.
A critic goes to a concert and is…critical. Next:
The subsequent posting of the review on February 4th by the Baltimore City Paper has caused a ripple that has shaken the environment of the Baltimore journalism community to its very core, upset huge, nationwide sponsorship companies, and resulted in the censoring of the Kitchens review and potentially subsequent postings by the paper against the will of Kitchens and the paper’s editorial staff. Since then, Baltimore City Paper has been in massive upheaval, with eight employees being laid off, and the rest of the staff being locked out of the paper’s online interface.
Also terrific from The New Yorker this month: The Historian Who Unearthed ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ on the late LSU of Alexandria professor Sue Eakin:
Steve McQueen took a moment to thank “this amazing historian Sue Eakin,” who “gave her life’s work to preserving Solomon’s book.” It was an unusual shout-out: we’re used to seeing Harvey Weinstein or God get thanked, not historians from Louisiana. But it’s safe to say that without Eakin, who died in 2009, at the age of ninety, none of us would be talking about Solomon Northup, or Patsey, or the other once-forgotten souls portrayed in this year’s Best Picture.
Bless you, Sue Eakin.
Al.com reports that:
State Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, says that McCarthy was right in his efforts to flush out communists, and he thinks it’s inappropriate for Alabama high school students to read The Crucible because a sidebar in a textbook explains the parallels between the Arthur Miller play and the Red Scare.
In the same article, and this is just rich:
Talladega County Republican Party Chairman Danny Hubbard, also said McCarthy was right. While Hubbard objected to many texts offered as “exemplars” by Common Core, he did not take issue with one written by an Alabama native.
“I don’t think anybody’s opposed to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,'” Hubbard said. “It’s a classic. I believe it’s written by a fellow from Montgomery.”
Somebody needs to find that fellow from Montgomery so he can be getting all the checks Nelle Harper Lee in Monroeville has been collecting all these years.
Robin Young of Here and Now visits Eudora Welty’s home in Jackson, and chats with her niece, Mary Alice.
above, from our visit to the Montgomery Museum of Art to see Patrick Dougherty’s works there in 2009
Cheekwood Art and Gardens in Nashville invited Patrick Dougherty to be the 2014 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence, and what he’s created is on exhibit officially from March 22 – June 29.
Photographer William Widmer for The New Yorker took part in a Courir de Mardi Gras and has these images.
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Columbia Pictures is suing the Houston company that owns Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon and Restaurant, accusing it of trademark infringement and illegal use of the name and other marks associated with the character played by Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Filed this month in Houston federal court, the lawsuit says Rick’s Cabaret International, which owns the north Fort Worth sports bar, is using intellectual property that is “uniquely identifiable with the picture,” such as scantily clad waitresses referred to as “smokin’ hotties” and a sign that says, “If you ain’t first,” a reference to a line from the 2006 comedy.
Among the offerings: a ‘Redneck Martini’ of Southern Comfort and Mtn Dew.
From Smithsonian: Why Carl Sagan is Truly Irreplaceable.
From The Atlantic: The Engineering of the Chain Restaurant Menu. A gem from the comment section: some people ‘flask’ their own maple syrup for use at IHOP.
I drove to Huntsville this week to attend the preliminary hearing for the individual who confessed to his mother that he ended the beautiful life of our dear friend, the artist Wade Wharton. It was so hard.
The article about the hearing is here, at al.com.
The Huntsville Botanical Garden is going to have an event honoring Wade later in April. I’ll post more when I have more details.
Going on right now: Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival.
Jonathan Demme is selling over 900 of his artworks at auction (think Slotin offerings. The catalog is here – start on page 2, really, for a feel of the lot) March 29 and 30. From Philly.com:
The director traces his love of artists who taught themselves how to paint and sculpt to a childhood spent watching his mother sketch landscapes.
“Anybody can go to college and learn to paint academically,” Demme said. “I certainly love fine art; I don’t reject it. I love to go to museums. But there’s something about that sincere work, trying to capture a feeling in an image, that just turns me on.”
Cornbread may become the official state bread of Alabama.
Nashville’s Fox 17 does a ‘Waste Watch’ feature on subsidies to area museums. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum got $1MM from the state; there’s $500k for the Chattanooga History Center under construction; $500k for the Knoxville Botanical Gardens; $50k for the Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center.